The idea of the Officially Cool campaign was born with the IIHF’s Strategic Plan ICE26 set to take place until 2026 and supports two key initiatives: strengthen the IIHF’s global presence to ensure regional support, understanding and representation to the Member National Associations and create engaging promotional campaigns.
Ice Hockey is one of the fastest team sports in the world where game officials are at the heart of the action. The MNAs recruit, educate and develop game officials to the point where they can be selected by the IIHF to officiate on the worldwide stage.
The various stories of game officials tell us that most take on this role having already had touchpoints with the game as hockey players or were recruited because they have a friend or a relative who is officiating. Although we can see that there has been an increase in the number of game officials in various countries, many of the MNAs still need to recruit more officials in order to ensure that leagues and tournaments can be played at all levels.
For this reason, the key message of the campaign is to elevate the stories of female and male game officials, and create a better understanding of the roles of game officials, whether they are referees, linespersons or officiating coaches, and thus, present professional opportunities to increase the interest for game officiating and support the MNAs in recruiting new officials.
At the beginning of the year, the IIHF has conducted a 4-session webinar with the MNAs to encourage and support them in analysing their officiating situation and to share industry best practices. The objective was to help them build or reinforce the foundation of their game officiating structure and give them the tools to confidently recruit new game officials.
With this campaign, the IIHF has created an all encompassing toolkit for the MNAs with Officially Cool promotional material that can be edited to their own language. In addition, initiatives such as an Ambassador Program will be initiated to bring the global audience one step closer to game officiating. This will offer officials a platform to share their own highlights, stories, and experiences to create community connections.
Officially Cool kicks off at the end of the 2022-23 IIHF season, allowing MNAs to recruit game officials for the 2023-24 season and eventually identify retiring players or others to offer them a new role in the game.
The IIHF is also delighted to count on Warrior, the IIHF Global Game Official Supplier, to support the Officially Cool campaign.
Follow the IIHF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube and join the movement by sharing this content across your media networks and social media channels and by using #OfficiallyCool on social media.
More information about officiating: IIHF - Get to know more about officiating